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Political Parties

Volume 466: debated on Monday 27 June 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is satisfied that the composition and policy of the Right German Party, which was recently allowed to contest local elections in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, are substantially different from those of the German Right Party which was recently banned by the British Control authorities on the grounds that it was opposed to the free development of democratic practices in Germany: and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The two parties are substantially different, the German Right Party being smaller and more local than the German Party. The right wing of the German Party has recently absorbed some members of the German Right Party in the Wolfsburg area, where the German Right Party was banned for undemocratic practices in and after the elections held there in November, 1948, and our authorities are watching the situation carefully. My right hon. Friend is satisfied, however, that there is at present no cause for further intervention.

Is my hon. Friend aware that the answer he gives reveals that he has completely misunderstood the question? He referred throughout to the German Party, and he will see that there is no reference to the German Party, which is an entirely different party from the one mentioned in my Question. It refers to the German Right Party and the Right German Party. Is he aware that both of these are purely local organisations, that they both consist substantially of the same people with substantially the same programme, that they are standing at the elections in Wolfsburg and that this is merely an invasion of Military Government rules?

If my hon. Friend studies my reply, he will see that we are not so far apart as he thinks. What I was taking him to mean by the Right German Party was the right wing of the German Party, and that is the correct way of interpreting his Question.

For the information of the House, would my hon. Friend say which is the right party?